Hillary: 1990s Clinton Crime Bill Motivated By ‘Crack Babies’ Filling Our Hospitals

Sunday on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said her husband former President Bill Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which is responsible for today’s mass incarceration controversy was put in place “because there was so much crime, gangs were warring in the streets, crack houses were endemic, crack babies were filling, you know, the wards of our hospitals.”

Clinton said, “You remember what we were facing in the ’80s and the early ’90s, and people of color, poor communities, lots of towns and cities, including this great city of New York, were under tremendous pressure because there was so much crime, gangs were warring in the streets, crack houses were endemic, crack babies were filling, you know, the wards of our hospitals, and so yes, we did have to take action. But let’s remember some of the things that were done that we no longer do. We had a ban on assault weapons. I want us to get back to sensible, smart gun prevention of violence. I want us to have not just universal background checks but I want us to really have the country rise up against the special interests lobby of the NRA that believes anybody should have a gun, regardless of their past history, regardless of whether they’re domestic violence abuser. This is just unsustainable. And we need to stand against it and I’m willing to take them on, because I know that guns are at the root of so much of the crime and the danger that stalks our neighborhoods.”

She continued, “Secondly, we do have to weed out the most violent offenders, the repeat offenders, the guys who have no regard for human life. But our prisons and jails are filled with people who have mental health challenges, people who have substance abuse challenges. they should not be in jail or prison. I want a much more robust diversionary program. I want us to do more on treatment. I may be the first presidential candidate at least in a long time who has a whole policy on substance abuse because this is at the root. So many people with anxiety, with depression, with other mental health problems, they self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, and oftentimes they get off track. We shouldn’t pun them. We should help them. I also think that the police have to understand that a lot of what we tried to do back in the day, back in the ’90s and the Clinton administration was to build those relationships between police and community, not to be in two separate camps but to be part of the same effort, to protect citizens, particularly the elderly, particularly the young, to have enough policing that people could feel safe, but not so much that it oppresses people and makes them feel that they are being singled out. This is a hard path to walk, but I know we can do it. we’ve learned lessons. We have a lot that we now know especially when it comes to imprisoning low level offenders is not necessary to prevent crime on the streets. Let’s focus on the bad actors that we don’t want setting up crack houses again.”

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